Measuring U.S. International Goods and Services Transactions
NBER Working Paper No. 5516
In order to better capture the close relationship between firms' cross-border trading activities and the sales and purchasing activities of their foreign affiliates, this paper proposes supplementary accounting formats that classify cross-border and foreign affiliate activities on an ownership basis, in contrast to the residency approach followed in the balance-of-payments accounts. One format combines net cross-border sales by Americans to foreigners, net sales by foreign affiliates of U.S. firms to foreigners, and net sales of U.S. firms to U.S. affiliates of foreign firms to yield a figure that indicates net sales by Americans to foreigners. Another accounting format measures the value-added embodied in cross-border and foreign affiliate activities on an ownership basis. U.S. cross- border and foreign affiliate activities based on these two approaches are presented and analyzed for the period, 1987-1992. In addition, data by industry are presented in these formats.